It is clear, by now, that nonprofits and government—even together—do not have the resources to fix the various ills that plague our world. Not even close.
But the money is out there—in the world of for-profit business. And ImpactPHL, launched two years ago, is intent on seeing that money put to socially good use. “Our mantra is that there is a global trend around leveraging capitalism and market forces for more than making a profit,” says Cory Donovan, ImpactPHL program manager. “The different legs of the stool are all telling the business sector they want this—customers, employees and investors.”
It’s that last group—investors, philanthropists and those who advise them, like wealth managers and financial advisors—ImpactPHL, along with Good Capital Group, has invited to its latest event, Total Impact Conference. The event, which is on its way to selling out at 300 tickets, will offer best practices and strategies for developing an investment portfolio that aligns with an investor’s social values. The keynote speaker is NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, co-founder of Admiral Capital Group and an investor in The Fitler Club, which bills itself as a Union League for younger, socially-minded Philadelphians.
“Financial advisors are enablers of impact investing,” Donovan says. “They have clients who come in and say, ‘I want to do good with my money.’ Instead of pushing back on that, they’ll have the tools to do that.”
Impact investing is a relatively new term for an old (but until recently out of fashion) action with roots that go back to 19th century Philadelphia: Intentionally investing in companies and in ways that generate both a profit and a desired social outcome. In the last 30 years, impact investing has grown into as much as a $60 billion annual global enterprise.
Philly is again a hub of social impact investing: According to ImpactPHL, the city’s chapter of Investors’ Circle is the most active early-stage impact investing network. And several companies and partnerships in town reflect its values—like Shift Capital, a real estate development company with a socially-driven mission, and the public-private Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation. But there is room to grow.
“We want to accelerate this movement in Philly,” says Donovan. “The more we do that, the more value there is for the Philadelphia community; the better people understand this, the better they can take advantage of the opportunity.”
Thursday April 26th-Friday April 27th, 8 am-6 pm, $795-$1195, Cira Centre, 2929 Arch Street, Mezzanine level. Tickets here.Photo via Pixabay